Lines around the mouth and sagging cheeks are common complaints patients have regarding their aging faces. These areas of the midface are affected mostly by the fat of the cheek sagging over time. This enhances the appearance of under-eye dark areas and diminishes the definition of the cheekbones. These areas are often not well resolved with a traditional facelift. A midface lift can resolve these problems and also may reduce the appearance of smile lines and lift the corners of the mouth for a more youthful appearance.
For the most comprehensive result, two sets of incisions are made. These are at the bottom of the cheek inside the mouth, and behind the hairline near the temple. Through these incisions, your surgeon can separate the tissues from the bone, lift them, and secure them in place with absorbable fasteners. This lifts the fat pads back towards the top of the cheekbone, lifting away the folds around the nose and mouth and redefining the cheekbones.
A less invasive operation can be performed in which the surgeon makes an incision below the lower eyelid to lift the fat pad. This version has the benefit of being less invasive and therefore requiring less recovery time, but also does not achieve the same level of result as it does not lift the skin and other tissues. Some surgeons perform this operation by making the incision inside the lower eyelid, eliminating the external scar.
The midface lift is a procedure that is often combined with others. Commonly, patients may undergo a lower eyelid operation along with the midface lift as the under-eye area is associated with sagging cheeks. Sometimes, the aging seen in the midface may be due in part to insufficient underlying structures, and in these cases, patients may benefit from including a cheek implant with the midface lift.
If you are interested in whether a midface lift may be right for you, contact facial plastic surgeon Dr. Sheldon Kabaker of Oakland, California, at (415) 379-9015.